7 ways to promote on Instagram for free

4 min read
7 January 2021

Opinions on promotion are divided: if you need a quality audience, the only way is to buy promotion from either Instagram (targeted ads) or bloggers.

Other instruments work gradually and slowly. Besides, they do not give the audience you need and are less controlled. However, it is better to use both of these approaches. It is impossible to create an account with a 100-thousand or million-plus followers without investing a single dollar. Moreover, you can’t organically develop your account only using good content. Even if there is an ideal environment for your account to grow, content can get only 2-3 thousand new followers a year – but your audience won’t increase a lot this way.

Today we will talk about instruments allowing you to either promote on Instagram for free or at a minimal cost.

1. Mutual PR

The first instrument is called mutual PR. You cooperate with other bloggers who have an audience similar to yours. You negotiate with them and exchange posts. They promote you, and you promote them. Different formats exist; mutual posts, mutual stories, joint live streams. A good tactic is to start streaming on your profile, and in the middle of the stream, to say that you should stop and switch to the other blogger’s profile. This is how you gather an audience from each other.

It’s a good instrument, but it has one difficulty: it becomes effective if you already have some kind of audience, at least 10K followers. In this case, mutual PR is an effective instrument. By the way, this is one of the most frequent ways used by celebrities, simply announcing each other, interviewing each other, and conducting mutual streams.

2. Getting to the top

There are several top lists on Instagram: top IGTVs, top hashtags, top recommendations. Getting to these lists gives you a new audience. But to get there, you need to reach a very high activity rate, which means getting a lot of activity in a short time. You need to get a thousand likes and comments in the first hour after publishing. And they must come from a live audience; bots and activity chats will not be counted.

How to make it happen? There are several ways:

  1. Grow your audience. This can be done by constantly doing surveys, questions, and activities.
  2. Create a competition. For example, posts with competitions in comments can get to the top. If 700-1,000 comments were left under your post in one hour, some users are likely to see it in their recommendation.
  3. Use loyal activity chats. For example, your colleagues and you create activity chats where you comment on each other’s posts. If you work for a big company, the employees or colleagues can comment on the posts. In this case, you get a higher activity on your page. And the last thing is likes or comments from the most popular bloggers. If they comment on your post, that post will have higher chances of reaching the top.

3. Competitions

A contest is an almost free promotion instrument, but you need to invest in prizes for winners.

4. Mutual following and likes

The next way to promote is mutual following and mutual likes. It is also conditionally free since you must pay for the tool. But this instrument has a lot of disadvantages because Instagram does not like it. The effectiveness of this method has dramatically faded in recent years.

5. Giveaways

This is one of the ways to attract new followers, no longer free, but not very expensive.

Attention! You need to be careful when participating in Giveaways because with a narrow profile topic and a small number of followers, this method can harm your account.

6. Participation in challenges

Challenges are held rather often: bloggers unite, and each blogger gives a workshop. To take part in each of these workshops, all participants must be followed by each other. In this case, they get access to the content.

This allows you to get a lot of high-quality target audience. However, there are three following aspects to consider:

  1. You should be a popular blogger. It makes sense to participate if you have at least 30K followers.
  2. You will need to perform. You should prepare a workshop on a specific topic, expert format only.
  3. To participate in such challenges, you should get an invitation. This is not a giveaway contest, the organizer selects experts, bloggers, and then invites them.

7. Your own challenge

For example, announcing a week of weight loss. Or increasing the audience reach on Instagram for three days. Or running five days of skincare. You create content every day for a given period. To participate, users must follow and promote your broadcast on their accounts.